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Back to Journal Page 48

Flight 45 and 46 at SpanaFlight 
(Total: 3.0 PIC, 55.3 Dual, 2.0 Sim IFR, 1.6 Night, 1.0 Complex, 214 Landings)

Disclaimer: Please forgive the brevity of these journal entries, as I have taken on new responsibilities at my day job, and haven't had the time to update these as I should have.  I will endeavor to provide more time for these.  Thanks for your understanding.


Today's flight was a review of the fundamentals, as well as some more solo work.    We headed out to the practice area and started with slow flight, then stalls.  We soon started practicing short and soft field takeoffs and landings.  I did 3 of those, and Matt wanted out of the plane so as to allow me to do some solo work.  I did 3 more takeoffs and landings, including my first soft field solo's and short field solo landings.  I must say that my performance wasn't too bad, and although I landed harder than I would have wanted a couple times, I walked away from the flight proud of my actions.


I did my first night lesson today.  We started with a quick ground lesson covering night flying topics.  Matt and I waited until about 9:15PM and then took off in the dark and headed out to the practice area.  I asked to do a slow circle so that I could just enjoy the beauty of the night, and I must say, it was one hell of a sight.

We then started with slow flight, and after satisfying Matt that I still knew the maneuver, we did some steep turns.  Vertigo hit seriously during those, however, and I kept finding myself righting the plane.  Matt had to keep increasing the bank angle so that we would actually be doing these correctly.  We then headed back towards the airport.  

I had fleeting glances of the runway, but soon lost it as we decreased out altitude in preparation for entering the pattern.  I eventually spotted the beacon, and pointed my nose at it, and Matt helped me gauge the distance on the downwind leg some.   I didn't feel comfortable with my pattern on this leg, and executed a go around.  I then went through the pattern better and the landing itself was one of my better ones.  I didn't experience the illusions that Matt and I discussed before the flight.  Thinking this was a piece of cake, I headed up to do another round in the pattern.  This time I flared too late, thinking I was higher than I was.  I executed a nice recovery though, and didn't bounce.  I did feel Matt's hands on the controls, however.

The next time around was much like my first one, in that I landed pretty good, and didn't experience the illusions that Matt discussed.  The next takeoff and landing, however, were without the landing lights on.  The takeoff was easy enough, and although the landing was pretty good, it was creepy flying with only reference to the runway lights.

One last time around, and a good landing again completed tonights lessons.  We parked the plane, and headed in to the FBO to debrief.  We are planning on the next cross country night flight being a trip to Arlington, then Paine field, then Boeing field, and then back home...All in the dark.  That should be pretty fun.  I haven't scheduled it though, as my next flight is my second solo cross country.

Until then....



Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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